What is the best method for insulating basements? It’s not fibreglass insulation and wood studs; that’s for sure! Then, why do contractors continue to promote it? Because it’s cheap and most building codes still allow it to be used. Not only is batt and studs wrong in basements, it leads to mold, mildew, a cold uncomfortable living environment – and high energy bills.
Most people think insulation is important because it keeps the basement warm in winter, but it’s even more important in the summer, when heat and humidity cause excessive moisture. If a basement is insulated with batt, warm air will penetrate the batt and when it comes in contact with the cold concrete walls behind the insulation it turns to water, frost or ice. Not only do you have a cold living environment and high energy bills, the batt insulation also acts like a blotter; soaking up and retaining the moisture. Because the batt remains damp, it creates the perfect incubator for mold to grow and thrive.
Rigid foam insulation is the best way to insulate basement walls. Rigid foam insulation stops moisture migration and is mold and mildew resistant. Think of a cozy beer or pop cooler. On a hot summer day your drink stays cold, your hand is warm and there is no condensation on the outside of the cooler. The same thing applies with newer toilet tanks that are lined on the inside with expanded polystyrene foam. Because the tank is much warmer than if it wasn’t insulated; condensation does not occur on the outside of the tank.
One more thing! Don’t use wood studs in your basement unless they are mold and water proof. A better alternative are rust resistant galvanized steel or aluminum studs. In basements, any product that reacts adversely to moisture should be avoided; that includes carpet and cushioned underlay, hardwood floors, wood baseboards, etc. It’s really quite simple; if you are considering a product for your basement and it’s capable of soaking up moisture/water, don’t use it.
To renovate your basement and take advantage of added living space in a healthy, energy efficient and cost effective way makes a lot of sense but make sure you use the right materials.
Visit quiktherm.com to learn more about the Quik-Therm Concrete and Basement Insulation System.